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Sandboxie Plus (fork)[a]
Original author(s)Ronen Tzur[1]
Developer(s)David Xanatos[2]
Initial release26 June 2004; 18 years ago (2004-06-26)
Stable release
Plus 1.9.3, Classic 5.64.3 / 8 May 2023; 19 days ago (2023-05-08)[3]
Written inC, C++
Operating systemWindows 7 and later
PlatformIA-32, x86-64 and ARM64
Size2.1–18.1 MB
Available in+18 languages[4]
TypeSecurity software
License Edit this at Wikidata

Sandboxie is an open-source OS-level virtualization solution for Microsoft Windows.[10][11][12] It is a sandboxing solution that creates an isolated operating environment in which applications can run without permanently modifying the local system.[10][13] This virtual environment allows for controlled testing of untrusted programs and web surfing.[13][14][15]

After various ownership transitions (Sophos[16][17][18] acquired Invincea[1][19][20] which acquired Sandboxie from the original author, Ronen Tzur), Sophos eventually dropped support and released the code as open-source.[21] The day after the Sophos announcement, a third-party developer known as David Xanatos forked the open-source project[a][2][22] and expanded it later with Sandboxie Plus.[23]


Sandboxie was initially released in 2004 as a tool for sandboxing Internet Explorer. Over time, the program was expanded to support other web browsers and eventually, arbitrary apps.[24]

In December 2013, Invincea announced the acquisition of Sandboxie.[1] The original developer Ronen Tzur further announced he would no longer be involved with the program.[19][20]

In February 2017, Sophos announced the acquisition of Invincea.[16][17][18] Invincea posted an assurance in Sandboxie's website that for the time being Sandboxie's development and support would continue as normal.[25]

Version 4.02 introduced support for Windows 64-bit[26] with the exception of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, which was never supported.[27]

Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista SP2 were supported up to version 5.22, after which their support was dropped.[28][29] In September 2019, Sandboxie version 5.31.4 was released under a freeware license "with plans to transition it to an open source tool". The previous commercial license still applied to customers with active licenses until their license expired.[30]


In April 2019, the official site was shut down, preventing downloads, installations and purchases, which prompted the creation of a temporary forum in the company's own domain.[31]

In May 2019, the official site returned with the original forums permanently shut down in favor of Sophos' own forums,[31] which were later shut down as well.[32] Between May and September 2019 (when Sandboxie became freeware), the purchase options were still missing.[30]

In response to the announcement of the closure of the Sandboxie website, software developer David Berdik scraped the site's contents and published the archive on GitHub on May 10, 2020.[33]


In April 2020, Sophos released the source code (as the source code-only version 5.40[34]) under the GPL 3.0+ license. Sophos stated that they would no longer be involved in the development of Sandboxie and that the open-source community would have to continue development instead.[21]

Sandboxie Plus (fork)[edit]

Sandboxie Plus is a fork of the original open-source code[21] and provides two editions of Sandboxie: Plus and Classic.[22]

Sandboxie Plus has been in development since early 2020,[23] while the first stable version was made available on 25 December 2021.[35] It includes numerous improvements:

  • ability for more granular access control rules
  • privacy mode sandboxes that protect user data from illegitimate access
  • app compartment mode that provides less isolation but higher compatibility
  • per-sandbox network firewall based on Windows Filtering Platform
  • modern Qt-based UI with dark mode and built-in support for many advanced options
  • per-sandbox snapshots
  • a hardened lockdown mode
  • support for ARM64-based platforms (starting with v1.5.0) [36]

Although the Classic edition lacks native interface support for Plus features, both editions offer the same security and compatibility fixes. While they remain free for private non-commercial use, a few of the newly developed features are only available to project supporters with a valid "supporter certificate".[37]

Until version 0.4.5, antivirus software, including Microsoft Defender Antivirus, falsely flagged Sandboxie Plus. To clear this false flag, the Sandboxie Plus developer had to pay Microsoft for a digital certificate, which he raised thanks to donors on Patreon.[38] Version 0.5.0 was the first digitally signed version of Sandboxie Plus.[39] An exception exists for the pre-release versions,[b] which are usually not signed to speed up the release process.[40]


Sandboxie was included in Brothersoft's 2010 Editors Pick list.[41] In November 2011, Gizmo's Freeware gave Sandboxie a rating of 9 out of 10 stars[42] and included it in their Editors' Choice List as the "Best Free Browser Protection Utility".[43] Softonic has given Sandboxie a rating of 8 out of 10 with Elena Santos stating in her review that "Sandboxie is a handy tool to test untrustworthy software without putting your system in danger."[44]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c "Invincea's Expanding Global Community". 2013-12-16. Archived from the original on 2017-09-18. Retrieved 2013-12-19. [W]e announced the acquisition of Sandboxie from an earlier transaction in 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Sandboxie Plus (Sbie fork)". 2020-04-09. Retrieved 2023-01-20.
  3. ^ "Releases - sandboxie-plus/Sandboxie". David Xanatos – via GitHub.
  4. ^ "Translating the Sandboxie project (available translations)". David Xanatos. Archived from the original on 2023-04-27. Retrieved 2023-04-27.
  5. ^ sandboxie/LICENSE at master - Sandboxie Classic
  6. ^ "Nag Screen for Supporter Certificate in SB Classic". Retrieved 2023-01-22 – via GitHub.
  7. ^ "Sandboxie/license.txt at master - Sandboxie Plus".
  8. ^ "Will new features be limited behind a paywall?". David Xanatos. Retrieved 2023-01-20 – via GitHub.
  9. ^ "Is Sandboxie-Plus going to nag users?". Retrieved 2023-01-22 – via GitHub.
  10. ^ a b Olzak, Tom (December 15, 2008). "Use free sandboxing software to isolate risky behavior". TechRepublic. Archived from the original on 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  11. ^ Kassner, Michael (January 20, 2009). "Minimize risk when downloading from the Internet". TechRepublic. Archived from the original on 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  12. ^ Grimes, Roger A. (December 15, 2008). "Sandbox Security Versus the Evil Web". PCWorld. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  13. ^ a b Pash, Adams (May 7, 2007). "Featured Windows Download: Safely test new software with Sandboxie". Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  14. ^ Martin. "Ghacks Christmas Giveaway: Sandboxie". Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  15. ^ Horowitz, Michael. "How to Defend Against Drive-By Downloads - Business Center - PC World". Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  16. ^ a b "Sophos Adds Advanced Machine Learning to Its Next-Generation Endpoint Protection Portfolio with Acquisition of Invincea". Sophos. 2017-02-08. Retrieved 2017-02-11.
  17. ^ a b "Sophos grows anti-malware ensemble with Invincea". Sophos. 2017-02-08. Retrieved 2017-02-11. One may ask, if you already have great next-generation technology, why do you need Invincea's technology?...Think of Invincea as the superhero that takes our ensemble to the next level – the entity that adds neural network-based machine learning to the team.
  18. ^ a b "Sophos to Acquire Invincea to Add Industry Leading Machine Learning to its Next Generation Endpoint Protection Portfolio". Invincea. 2017-02-08. Retrieved 2017-02-11.
  19. ^ a b "Goodbye from tzuk". 2014-01-22. Archived from the original on 2018-11-21. Retrieved 2017-10-20. Today I depart from Sandboxie, as I announced a few weeks ago. [*]
  20. ^ a b "Questions About Invincea Acquiring Sandboxie?". 2013-12-17. Archived from the original on 2018-11-21. Retrieved 2017-10-20. I am happy to pass the torch to the capable hands of Invincea...In about six weeks, I will depart from Sandboxie. [*]
  21. ^ a b c "[IMPORTANT] Sandboxie Open Source Code is available for download". Sophos. 2020-04-08. Archived from the original on April 25, 2020. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  22. ^ a b "sandboxie-plus/Sandboxie: Sandboxie Plus & Classic". David Xanatos. 2020-04-09. Retrieved 2023-01-20 – via GitHub.
  23. ^ a b "Release v0.1 - sandboxie-plus/Sandboxie". David Xanatos. 2020-06-01. Retrieved 2023-01-20 – via GitHub.
  24. ^ "Sophos open-sources Sandboxie, a utility for sandboxing any application". ZDNet. 2019-09-12. Retrieved 2019-09-16.
  25. ^ "Invincea acquired by Sophos". 2017-02-10. Archived from the original on 2019-04-15. Retrieved 2017-10-20. Many of you are probably wondering, what does this mean for Sandboxie and its users? The answer as of right now, is that nothing is changing. We will continue to operate as we have since Invincea acquired Sandboxie. We have no current plans to discontinue developing Sandboxie updates or supporting it. [*]
  26. ^ "Sandboxie - Notes About 64-Bit Edition". Sandboxie Holdings. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017.
  27. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions - What are the requirements to run Sandboxie?". Sandboxie Holdings. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. Sandboxie does not work on... Windows XP x64 bit [sic]
  28. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions - What are the requirements to run Sandboxie?". Archived from the original on 26 August 2018. Retrieved 2023-04-09.
  29. ^ "5.24 doesn't work with Vista 64bits pack 2". Archived from the original on 10 May 2020. Retrieved 2023-04-09.
  30. ^ a b Geftic, Seth (10 September 2019). "Major Sandboxie News: Sandboxie is now a free tool with plans to transition it to an open source tool". Sophos. Archived from the original on 13 September 2019.
  31. ^ a b "[Sandboxie Status Update] What happened to the Sandboxie site and forums?". Sophos. 2019-09-24. Retrieved 2019-05-03. We started experiencing issues with our servers due to a bug that is causing slowness accessing the Sandboxie site, as well as the licensing/activation options. Added to that, we found a security weakness in the software being used for the forums, and out of an abundance of caution, they were taken down for the time being. In order to keep communication going, we have created this temporary forum within our Sophos Community.
  32. ^ "The Sandboxie Forum is now closed". Sophos. 2020-06-05. Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  33. ^ "[Sandboxie Website Archive]". 2020-09-15. Retrieved 2020-09-15.
  34. ^ "Sandboxie - Download the latest version of Sandboxie". Archived from the original on April 23, 2020. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  35. ^ "Release v1.0.5 / 5.55.5". sandboxie-plus / Sandboxie repo. David Xanatos. 25 December 2021 – via GitHub.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  36. ^ "Release v1.5.0 / 5.60.0". sandboxie-plus / Sandboxie repo. David Xanatos. 19 October 2022 – via GitHub.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  37. ^ "Feature Comparison | Sandboxie-Plus". Retrieved 2022-08-24.
  38. ^ "Release v0.4.5 / 5.44.1". sandboxie-plus / Sandboxie repo. David Xanatos. 16 November 2020 – via GitHub.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  39. ^ "Release v0.5.0 / 5.45.0". sandboxie-plus / Sandboxie repo. David Xanatos. 7 December 2020 – via GitHub.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  40. ^ "1.7.0 has no signature; triggers Windows security and 4 detections on virustotal". David Xanatos. 28 January 2023. Retrieved 9 April 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  41. ^ "Brothersoft Winners 2010: List of Editors Pick Windows Software - Brothersoft windows Topic". Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  42. ^ "Best Free Browser Protection Utility". Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  43. ^ "The Editors' Choice List: Our Selection of the Best PC Freeware". Gizmo's Freeware. 1 November 2011. Archived from the original on 15 January 2012.
  44. ^ "Sandboxie - Download". Softonic. Retrieved 28 May 2012.

External links[edit]